Sway bars

Discussion in 'Suspension, Steering, Brake & Wheel Topics' started by Class A Z, Apr 29, 2020.

  1. Class A Z

    Class A Z New Member

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    Looking for opinions and or advice on sway bar upgrades for street/strip car. Is it worth the money? What benefits do you notice most?
     
  2. Gary S

    Gary S Administrator Lifetime Gold Member

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    What do you have now? If you have a 77-81 Z28, you don't need upgrades as those cars already have adequate sway bars. If you have a different model with small sway bars or no rear bar at all, then you would see big handling and cornering improvements by increasing sway bar size.
    I don't think you can beat a pair of the later 70s Trans Am bars for improving a Camaro for the street.
     
  3. Class A Z

    Class A Z New Member

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    Thanks! I have a 74 z28. All suspension is stock except a pair of drop springs in the front
     
  4. rchydzik

    rchydzik Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I would start with the front bar, and upgrade from 1.0 inch to 1.125 (77 up z28) and see what you think. You could go up to 1.25 inches if you like. Bigger front bar will increase understeer by itself, but reduce body roll. Then you can tune with the rear bar, which will affect oversteer. Factory combinations work pretty well. This can get pretty complicated depending on your springs, particularly leafs.
     
  5. Class A Z

    Class A Z New Member

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    Ok cool. The car isn’t terrible but it doesn’t corner the best. I’m just trying to make small “affordable” upgrades a little at a time. I was looking at summits front and rear sway bar kits. They’re around $160 each. Think there is much of a difference between those and a high dollar brand?
     
  6. Coadster32

    Coadster32 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    You need to look at some of the details, not just diameters. Some are solid, some are not. The material will make a big difference as well. New sways are a nice affordable upgrade. Be cautious of the rear sway bar if you have duel mufflers, and/or cal-tracs/slapper bars. A different setup than stock might be needed for clearance.
     
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  7. Class A Z

    Class A Z New Member

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  8. Class A Z

    Class A Z New Member

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    I appreciate all your input! Gives me plenty to think about and consider. I should be clear with the exhaust. Although it’s 3” dual, I have it tucked up nicely against the bottom of the car, rolls over the rear end and then it dumps just behind the rear tires. If you guys have upgraded sway bars, let me know what brand, size and changes you noticed. Once I decide on mine, I’ll post about them with a few pictures. Thanks again!
     
  9. Gary S

    Gary S Administrator Lifetime Gold Member

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    For street driving you don't need anything larger than the ones GM offered on the Trans Am. The largest front bar they used was 1 1/4" and with that one, on the WS6 (Pontiac's top performing Trans Am), they used either a 3/4" rear or a 7/8" rear. The 7/8" one might be a bit too much for most cars.
    The later Z28 had a 1 1/8" front and a 5/8" rear which also was a good street combo.

    Aftermarket bars larger than that aren't needed on street cars and can cause cornering issues. Hollow bars will be lighter in weight, but not give as much control per inch as a solid one. The larger physical size often causes clearance problems with steering up front and exhaust in the rear.
     
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  10. Zspoiler

    Zspoiler Veteran Member

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    On my 1979 Z-28 I run an 1 1/4 front bar and a 7/8 rear bar .With greasable polyurethane bushings ,Therear bar uses a Herb Adams mount .Its stronger than stock and they use a front type of bushings. So they are more versatile as well. I also use a set of Competition Engineering bolt on frame connectors and Koni shocks .It tighten the car up so it corners better.
     

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